Today’s Headlines for Monday, July 30

  • The Tribune Looks at the Trend of Protesters Blocking Highways
  • Sun-Times: Let’s Have Real “Zero Tolerance” for CTA Drivers Who Crash While Distracted
  • Waguespack (Unrealistically) Worries About a Car2go-Created Parking Crunch (Block Club)
  • Speeding Driver Killed Former CFD Ambulance Commander & His Wife in South Deering (ABC)
  • Van Driver Critically Injured Pedestrian in Garfield Park (CBS)
  • Bystander Assists Police Officer After He Crashed Into a Tree in South Chicago (CBS)
  • Pilot Makes an Emergency Landing on Lake Shore Drive During Rush Hour (CBS)
  • 100 Block of W. 87th in Chatham Is the Worst Location for Crashes in the City (Sun-Times)
  • Here’s How Converting Transit Fleets to Alternative Fuels Saves Money (Tribune)
  • CDOT Plans to Add More Protection to Middle Randolph Bike Lanes (CBS)
  • Cook County Forest Preserves Expanding DoBi Program to 500 Cycles (ABC)
  • Meetings to Help Determine Active Trans Transportation Platform on 8/8 & 8/21

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who has donated so far this year to help us raise $50K by our August 1 deadline in order to win the $50K challenge grant from the Chicago Community Trust. The additional $25K The Trust is offering this year will allow us to hire a part-time reporter to expand our coverage of the South and West sides, communities of color, and women’s transportation issues.

Reader donations and ad renewals have been coming in steadily, we’ve gotten a few large gifts from some of our most loyal readers, and a couple other major contributions are likely to materialize in the near future. But with only a few days to go, we’re in the home stretch, and we need to raise more donations from readers like you, which typically make up about a third of the $50K we raise each year. Can you help us win the challenge grant by chipping in? You can make a tax-exempt donation on our Public Good page.

Thanks for your support, and have a great summer.

– John Greenfield, editor, Streetsblog ChicagoBanner for our fundraising campaign that says Donate and help us win a $50,000 grant from The Chicago Community Trust to hire a new reporter

  • Anne A

    Given the horrific congestion that is the norm on the 100W block of 87th St., it is no surprise to me that this block is the top of the list for crashes. Between frequent CTA buses, lots of traffic to/from shopping and movies on that block, the Dan Ryan interchange, trucks, etc., it’s a traffic nightmare most hours of the day. Left turning traffic at the shopping center entrances is a huge source of conflict.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/100+W+87th+St,+Chicago,+IL+60620/@41.736122,-87.6267648,159m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e2f57dc011373:0x91b8de1a1b4f18a6!8m2!3d41.7365184!4d-87.6270117

  • planetshwoop

    #1 — No on amount of enforcement is going to keep people from looking at their phones while driving. Even if it’s the CTA. Any casual passer-by can see the hordes of vehicle drivers operating phones while driving. A more comprehensive solution is required — a “shut-off while driving” or some other feature is required. From the phone, not an app.

    I hope this is implemented as I expect a massive class action lawsuit is coming to Google/Apple for not implementing safety features from drivers. I predict this will happen in 5 years or less. They are too huge a target for this not to become a social issue soon.

    (And while election hacking through social media is very important, not using a handheld computer (aka phone) while driving is huge too. How many people are dying because we need to check Facebook?

    #2 — “Unrealistically”. I think there were lots of services that said there would be fewer cars because of Lyft/Uber. Which, as the WP reported this weekend (and Trib carried the article), is very much not the case; congestion is a lot worse. So I think we should be skeptical of one survey before we declare victory around Car2go.

  • Anne A

    Recent versions of Apple’s iOS have a feature to disable calling/receiving of call or texts while in a moving vehicle, but it’s an optional feature that has to be turned on.

  • Kevin M

    I’m all for an effective technological solution to a technological problem, but I do wonder how a mobile’s OS would know that it is in the hands of a driver instead of a passenger (whose eyes can freely be distracted without risking harm to others).

  • Random_Jerk

    #2 – City should just limit the number of ride share vehicles. NY is planning to do so. Before Uber there was only 7000 taxi licences in Chicago. Now there are over 100,000 Uber/Lyft drivers in Chicago area. Total lack of planning on the part of City of Chicago.

  • Disable everything except navigation and music whenever the phone is within a certain distance of the key fob above a certain speed? Or would that just lead to people leaning way over toward the passenger seat in order to keep the phone activated, which would be even worse?

  • what_eva

    This has been my biggest question for a long time. How do you determine that the phone is being held by a driver vs a passenger? And yes, I’m aware that there are some studies that say a passenger using the phone is distracting too, but step further, how do you even determine that the phone is a in a car and not a bus or train?

  • what_eva

    How does the phone know that the key fob is in use? I sometimes have my car keys with me on transit.

    I poke that hole just to show how easy it is to poke holes in any solution to the problem. There isn’t an easy solution.

  • what_eva

    On the class action suit, I’ll draw a parallel that I will acknowledge as somewhat flimsy. I’m not aware of any successful class action lawsuits against InBev for DUI.

  • Guy Ross

    #3 The most amazing take-away from that article lamenting the stress a few Smarts will have on parking in Chicago: You pay 25 bucks to store your private property in the public right of way in the city.

    Last time I lived in Chicago I spent 89 bucks a month on a storage space smaller than a van. Stupid me!

  • Isn’t everything gathering data from everything else wirelessly these days?

  • Anne A

    That’s a definite weakness. It’s not really foolproof unless a driver is conscientious about having that feature enabled.